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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 12:12 GMT
Success boosts Man Utd finances
Manchester United celebrate winning the 2006/07 Premier League
The financial results have been well received at Old Trafford
Manchester United have moved to the top of the UK's football financial league after reporting record turnover for 2006/07 of 245m ($481m), a 27% rise.

That puts them ahead of the 200.8m reported by Arsenal for last season, but behind Real Madrid of Spain, whose turnover was 263m for the same period.

Pre-tax profits rose 93% to 59.6m, as United won the Premier League.

The club, which says it has 333 million fans worldwide, also reached the FA Cup final and Champions League semi-final.

Ticket prices have gone up but we still believe they are very sensible levels
David Gill, chief executive, Manchester United

Those cup runs, during the second year of the Glazer family's ownership, helped to boost media revenues by 35% to 61.5m.

An update on the club's debt and interest repayments - the Glazer family borrowed heavily to buy the club for 790m in 2005 - will be made in the spring when the Glazer company accounts for Red Football are lodged.

Last May the annual interest payment was 62m, and in the autumn a club spokesman said debts continued "to be comfortably serviced by the business".

The club is now thought to be seeking to refinance its debts.

Philip Long, a football finance expert with accountants PKF, said: "The banks will always give their support provided the club is doing well."

'Quest for success'

Chief executive David Gill said full houses at Old Trafford, plus the increases in media and sponsorship revenues "combined with team success to produce a substantial financial improvement".

"I am confident that the uplift in the Premier League television deal, together with our new sponsorship sales structure will enable the club to continue to increase its revenues and profitability to provide support to the team's quest for further on-field success," Mr Gill added.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill
David Gill believes the club can continue to increase its revenues

Details of the new sponsorship structure, driven by the recently appointed commercial director Richard Arnold, have not been revealed.

But a spokesman said the club was looking forward to improved financial figures next year - when the results of an improved TV deal will come into effect - on the proviso that there is continued success on the playing field.

Manchester United once again disclosed the total payments made in the year to players' agents - 2.1m in 2006/07 as against 1.8m the previous season.

The club said it was the only one in the Premier League to reveal its payments to agents, and said other top flight teams should follow suit.

Wage payments

The extra seats afforded to Arsenal following its move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium had been instrumental in the large rise in the club's turnover, as matchday revenues boomed.

At Manchester United matchday revenues were up 30% to 92.6m, reflecting the expansion of Old Trafford to a larger capacity of more than 76,000.

And Mr Gill defended United's ticket pricing structure, which some supporters' groups have said is driving away the traditional fan base.

"Ticket prices have gone up but we still believe they are very sensible levels," he said.

"This season, the spread is 25 to 44, juniors at 10, senior citizens a 50% discount.

"Yes, we have 8,000 executives at the stadium but it is only 10% of capacity. They provide a lot of the revenue that ensures we keep standard ticket prices at what we consider to be very appropriate levels."

The 245m turnover figure is for its overall business, but Manchester United points out that more than 200m of that figure was for its core football activities.

The club said it had reduced its wages-to-turnover ratio to 43.6%, well within the 50% set by the Glazer family as a long-term aim.



SEE ALSO
Gill bullish on Man Utd finances
11 Jan 08 |  Man Utd
New stadium boosts Arsenal income
24 Sep 07 |  Business
TV deal 'fuels transfer spending'
03 Sep 07 |  Business
Manchester United's profits flat
26 Jan 07 |  Business
Man Utd deal cuts interest bill
18 Jul 06 |  Business
Man Utd sign 56m AIG shirt deal
06 Apr 06 |  Business

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